Have you ever had someone stare at you as if you have two heads? Try casually dropping into conversation the fact that you only plan to have one child. When people who don’t know me learn that my husband and I are content to keep our family small, they look at me dumbfounded, confused and — sometimes — a bit horrified.
I won’t say we’ll never, ever welcome another little one — because surprises happen and people do change their minds — but as it stands right now, we’re pretty sure our daughter will be our first and last addition.
Please don’t get me wrong — my little girl, Reese, is amazing and sweet. I’m often so overjoyed by her presence in my life that I wish I had three more of her. But it doesn’t take much to remind me what kinds of financial, emotional and physical challenges that would pose.
I’ve been asked whether I’m concerned Reese will be lonely, but I don’t think that will happen. She’ll have the full attention of her parents and relatives. We’re happy to engage her in hands-on, educational activities; we read to her, teach her how to use her toys, take her to the park and, when she’s old enough, we’ll involve her in meal preparation and other age-appropriate tasks. Plus, you know, we have a dog that always needs a fetch partner.
People tell me my daughter will grow up spoiled. Well, I’m thrilled to be able to “spoil” Reese with love and attention, which, I hope, will help to make her confident and secure. However, I also understand the importance of teaching good manners and respect for other people. She won’t always get her way; she will learn to share; and my husband and I won’t provide her with an endless supply of toys and other material goods. Although I’m not sure I can say the same thing for Reese’s grandparents, who, at times, seem intent on buying her every battery-operated, light-up, music-producing device Fisher-Price makes.
I’m happy with my family, and I’m excited to see what the future brings for the three of us. So please don’t ask me when the next one is coming.